The AU Peace and Security Council has called for the expedited deployment of the High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, to facilitate dialogue between Ethiopia and Somalia as diplomatic strains between the two countries deteriorate.
The Council made the request to the Chairman of the AU Commission following a meeting on January 17, 2024, on the tensions between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu.
A statement from the Council urges both countries to “exercise restraint, de-escalate and engage in meaningful dialogue towards finding a peaceful resolution to the matter, in the spirit of African solutions to African problems.”
The Council expressed its “deep concerns” over the ongoing friction between Ethiopia and Somalia following the signing of an MoU between Ethiopia and “the northern region of Somalia (Somaliland)…and its potential adverse impact on peace, security and stability of the region.”
The Council urged external actors to abide by the principle of non-interference.
Commission Chairman Moussa Faki is expected to approve the request and deploy Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president who was also deployed in a similar capacity during talks between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the recent past.
Although AU Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) did not specify when Obasanjo would be embarking on his latest mission, it showed appreciation for an IGAD extraordinary session scheduled for tomorrow.
Whether an Ethiopian delegation will make the trip to Kampala, Uganda, remains unconfirmed.
Faki has also appointed three high-level panels on Sudan to mediate between the country’s warring generals.